Tuesday, November 17, 2015

AncestryDNA Says I Have NADs (New Ancestor Discoveries)

Ever since the announcement of New Ancestor Discoveries by AncestryDNA, I have not received any - until yesterday.  Now I have two - a husband and wife - George and Sarah (Follmer) Hartman of York County, Pennsylvania.

Here are the top two screens from my AncestryDNA home page:

I know that I don't have George Hartman (1811-1896) and Sarah Follmer (1817-1894) in my family tree - could I have made a big mistake?  They apparently resided in York County, Pennsylvania, and I do have several York County families from the 1750 to `1820 time frame - Spangler, Konig, Ruth, and Dinkel - my 4th great-grandparents.

I was curious, so I clicked on the link for George Hartman.  That opened a popup screen that indicated there were 6 members in AncestryDNA who shared this DNA, but only two share it with me.

I clicked on the gray "See Your Connection" button and saw that I was related to three others according to AncestryDNA (two screens):

[Note:  I have anonymised the user names in the screens.]

The screen above says this about New Ancestor Discoveries:

"Your DNA matches the DNA of members of the George Hartman DNA Circle. Because of this, there is a good chance (up to 70%) you could be either a descendant or relative of George Hartman. "

One of my matches is a 2nd great-grandchild of George and Sarah, another is a 3rd great-grandchildren, and the other one in the group is a 4th great-grandchild.

 I was able to see a partial list of the 133 Ancestry Member Trees that have George Hartman.  Here is the "Overview" from these trees - with parents, two spouses and 25 children (!!!):

I wanted to determine if there were any ancestors of George and Sarah (Follmer) Hartman who might be my ancestors also.  I picked one of the trees which seemed to have the most known ancestors, and looked at the pedigree chart for one of the children of George and Sarah Hartman:

Well, I don't see any of my known York County, Pennsylvania families on the chart, and they go back to births in the 1700-1720 time frame.  There are some unknown parents on the pedigree chart, so they may be from my families but have not been connected yet.

I also looked at my three purported DNA matches and found them in my AncestryDNA match list.

*  The first one is a predicted 4th cousin, sharing 28.4 cM in 2 segments.  This match does share some common ancestral names with me - especially Hazard, Freeman and Paine from New England, but these are back several more generations.

*  The second one is a predicted 4th cousin, sharing 22.7 cM in 1 segment.  I have some shared surnames, but not in the areas their families resided.

*  The third one is not shown as a DNA match.

I know that other researchers (and geneabloggers) have not had very good luck with these New Ancestor Discoveries.  I'm sure that there have been some, but I don't recall any that were written about.  AncestryDNA says the likelihood of my being related to George and Sarah (Follmer) Hartman is 70%.  My guess is that it's much closer to 0%.

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

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